We know there’s nothing in the repertoire of Hannukah treats that calls for either white chocolate or green tea, but here’s the thing: we had matcha white chocolate on the brain. On Dan’s latest trip to Japan, he brought back an amazing, never-before-seen-in-New York treat: green tea kitkats. And, a package of beautiful, earthy, matcha powder. And, we had a Hannukah party coming up. And, we’ve never had gelt that we felt was really good.
So it was obvious. We’d have to make some gelt, Japan style. (We made some spicy chocolate, too, for the naysayers.)
Making molded chocolate is fun, easy and oh-so-impressive. All you need is really good chocolate and a few candy molds. (You can re-use them, or get enough for all the chocolate you have.) If you want to get fancy, get some colored foil, too.
A few tips:
Don’t overcook your chocolate. Melt (in the microwave or over a double boiler) until it’s 3/4 melted, and then remove from the heat stir, allowing the heat of the chocolate to finish melting the stubborn bits. (This amounts to fake tempering, but it works.)
Water and chocolate are enemies: if you’re melting over a double boiler, be careful of water spillage.
Each standard-sized round chocolate mold (like these gelt molds) use a half ounce of chocolate. So a pound of chocolate will make 32 pieces.
1. Start with a pound of chocolate, white or dark. (If using dark, use something no darker than 70% cocoa.) Finely chop the chocolate. Melt (in the microwave or over a double boiler) until it’s almost all melted, and then remove from the heat and stir, allowing the heat of the chocolate to finish melting the stubborn bits — you don’t want to overcook your chocolate.
2. Add your flavoring. To a pound of white chocolate, we added 2 tablespoons of matcha powder. To a pound of dark, we added a tablespoon of cinnamon and two dashes of cayenne. Start with less and go tasting it.
3. Pour chocolate into molds. You can fill to the top, or 3/4 of the way, depending on how thick you want your gelt. How the mold firmly, and rap against the table a few times to release air pockets and bubbles.
4. Freeze molds for at least ten minutes until the chocolate is very firm. (Always better to air on the side of too much time.) Flip the mold, and gently push out the chocolate, using both thumbs to press down on the sides of the gelt to loosen it. Repeat until all the chocolate has been used! (If your chocolate hardens while you wait, simply re-melt it.)
5. Wrap in foil and refrigerate, You can eat them cold out of the fridge, or let them come up to room temperature before serving. (The green tea flavor will be more pronounced in the white chocolate at room temperature.)
Note: if you want shiny dark chocolate gelt at room temperature, best to temper it. David Lebovitz has lots to say on the matter, and clear instructions. (It’s not that necessary if you’re wrapping them, though.)